Electrolux EW36IC60LS 36-Inch Induction Cooktop Review
The Electrolux EW36IC60LS brings cool style and a cool cooktop into the kitchen.
The Electrolux EW36IC60LS (MSRP $2,199.00) induction cooktop is the larger 36-inch version of the EW30IC60LS we reviewed back in August 2013. At just under $2,200 ($2,099.00 for the all black model), this cooktop is by no means cheap. But what a prospective buyer may lose in financial solvency, they will gain in useful features and truly impressive performance.
Design & Usability
This Electrolux's design is right on target.
It's always wonderful when a company tries something new. Case and point, the EW36IC60LS's unusual cross-shaped cooking zones, which dispense with the familiar circular burner shape. The design makes sense, as the cooking zones adjust their size dependent on the diameter of the pot or pan placed on the surface.
Along with the design, the cooktop has several features that should prove popular with weekend chefs. The EW36IC60LS control panel features a lock function—sure to please those with young children—along with a timer and a helpful Keep Warm setting. Along with these useful features, each burner sports a dedicated touch control. The controls are responsive and, dare we say, look pretty darn cool in a sci-fi cockpit kind of way. Traditionalists may mourn the lack of physical burner knobs, but for everyone else these controls should do the trick.
Forget instant noodles, how about instant everything?
When dealing with induction cooktops, it’s important to realize that the usual rules of cooking do not apply. An induction burner does not “create” heat through conventional heat transfer. Instead, an induction burner—an electromagnet—produces an oscillating magnetic field that generates an electric current in any ferromagnetic pot or pan placed on the cooking area. As there is no actual heat transfer, only the pot itself heats up. The cooktop itself stays cool, and almost no energy is lost. The end result? The EW36IC60LS boils water really fast. The large front-left cooking zone boiled six cups of water in less than two minutes. The remaining cooking zones were equally impressive, with boil times between three and five minutes. Remarkable.
We were unable to test the absolute limit of the EW36IC60LS’s high temperatures due to the automatic Safety Shutoff feature—the cooking zones shut-off once 800ºF is reached. We recorded a maximum temperature of 856ºF from the front-left cooking zone, while the small front-center zone had an impressive maximum temperature of 629ºF. Those are some seriously high temperatures, so keep keep an eye on your food if you plan on searing anything. The smooth surface also offered exemplary low temperatures. We recorded a seriously low minimum temperature of 113ºF. Considering induction's ability to regulate temperature, melting chocolate should prove a hassle-free process.
The numbers speak for themselves.
In the case of the Electrolux EW36IC60LS, the lightning-fast boil times, searing maximums, and simmer friendly lows offer as a compelling reason as any to switch to induction. However, there is one obstacle that keeps us from recommending this cooktop wholeheartedly. While $2,199 is a pretty reasonable price by induction standards, it’s still enough to dent a modest kitchen budget. And, with induction prices steadily dropping, a savvy shopper may be better served by holding out for an inevitable sale. That said, if you insist on the best when it comes for performance, the Electrolux EW36IC60LS', crossed shaped burners confirm the old idiom: X marks the spot.
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